New service weapons have been issued to the 16 members of the Mount Olive Police Department and all officers have been re-qualified for their use.
The new sidearms are 9mm Glocks. They replace the previous 40-caliber service weapons the officers carried before the cost and availability of bullets sent them looking for other options.
The guns replaced were about 15 years old.
Officials say the ammunition for the 40-caliber weapons was about $5 more expensive than that of the 9 mm guns.
Town Manager Charles Brown said all officers on the force had to re-qualify with the 9 mm before they could be issued.
“There was nothing wrong with the 40-caliber weapon, except they were about 15 years old and the ammunition was extremely more expensive,” he said.
Officers also note that the 9mm weapons are easier to handle.
The 40-caliber firearms were declared as surplus and were sold, offsetting the expense for the new 9mm weapons, officials said.
The new, top of the line body cameras should arrive “any day now,” Brown added.
Mount Olive was the first law enforcement agency in Wayne County to require the use of body cameras.
Another tool in the local police inventory is surveillance cameras strategically located at 18 sites throughout town.
Brown said two of the cameras are currently being worked on due to malfunction issues.
Ultimately, police hope to have 24 surveillance cameras that will cover all entrances and exits of the town.